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Michael Rooker as Yondu in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jason Statham may be sitting out the upcoming Fast & Furious 9 due to being busy with the spinoff Hobbs & Shaw, but the next entry in the Fast & Furious franchise is ensuring that there will be plenty of well-known actors involved. The latest casting update is that Guardians of the Galaxy’s Michael Rooker is being brought in to participate in the high octane craziness.

According to Deadline, Michael Rooker will be playing a character named Buddy, who is a last minute addition to the Fast & Furious 9 production, which started rolling cameras in late June. No details were provided about this Buddy, so we’ll have to wait and see whether he’ll be an ally or adversary to Dominic Toretto and his gang of car enthusiasts.

As the outlet noted, this makes 2020 an even bigger year for the actor. He was already slated to appear in Fantasy Island (based on the same-named TV series), Monster Problems and Amazon’s pilot for The Dark Tower, but now he also gets to take part in another popular film franchise, just two years after he bid farewell to another one of those.

Michael Rooker has assembled a wealth of credits from over three decades of acting, ranging from Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer and Mallrats to Days of Thunder (another car-centric movie) and The Walking Dead, but in recent years, he’s arguably best known for playing Yondu in the first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe's Yondu died at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to save Peter Quill. While superhero stories are known for impermanent deaths, James Gunn has said that he doesn’t plan on resurrecting Yondu for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, leaving Michael Rooker free to lend his talents to another film series that cherishes family.

Michael Rooker is the fifth new actor to join Fast & Furious 9. He was preceded by John Cena, Finn Cole, Anna Sawai, Vinnie Bennett and UFC fighter Francis Ngannou though unlike Rooker, none of their characters have been identified yet, though Cena’s is unsurprisingly described as a “badass.”

As for Fast & Furious 9’s familiar faces, they include the regular lineup of Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto, Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty Ortiz, Tyrese Gibson’s Roman Pearce, Ludacris’ Tej Parker and Nathalie Emmanuel’s Ramsey. Fast & Furious 9 will also bring back Jordan Brewster’s Mia Toretto, who hasn’t been seen since Furious 7, as well as Helen Mirren’s Magdalene Shaw and Charlize Theron’s Cipher, both of whom were introduced in The Fate of the Furious. Mirren also cameoed in Hobbs & Shaw.

No plot details for Fast & Furious 9 have been revealed yet, but considering that this is intended to be the penultimate film of the main series, that means there’s a good chance that it will lay groundwork for the explosive finale that is Fast & Furious 10. It’ll also be interesting to see if Fast & Furious 9 in any ties to the events that went down in Hobbs & Shaw.

Fast & Furious 9 races into theaters on May 22, 2020, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more coverage. Stay up-to-date on what else there is to look forward to for the rest of this year by scanning through our 2019 release schedule.

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